Hale March 18 Masthead

Spirited women recognised with Lifeline Awards

HerCanberra Team
The ninth annual Lifeline Canberra Women of Spirit Awards luncheon presented by Bond Hair Religion was held yesterday at the National Portrait Gallery.

Ms Gay Evans taking out the major award and Ms Sarah Mamalai recognised as the Rising Women of Spirit.

Nominated by their peers, the two incredible women were assessed on the details of their outstanding community work while showing incredible resilience in the face of significant adversity in their lives.

Speaking at the event, Lifeline Canberra CEO Ms Carrie-Ann Leeson said it was humbling to be in the company of such incredible and inspirational women who give hope to their communities.

“All our nominees are incredibly resilient people who have faced significant challenges in their lives and are now on an amazing journey, making a positive difference in the lives of those around them,” said Ms Leeson.

“We thank each of our nominees for their selfless commitment to improving the lives of others and are very proud to provide an opportunity for these women to be recognised in this way.”

The 160 plus guests were treated to entertainment by local trio Kaleid and a inspiring key note address by Ms Deborah Swain who shared her experience rebuilding the life of her husband following serious Post Traumatic Stress and severe depression.

2015 Women of Spirit Award Recipient: Mrs Gay Evans

Gay Evans has persevered through countless challenges in her life. Overcoming disability, sickness, grief and marriage difficulties, Gay has used her personal struggles and experiences to help others, and has reached countless people in her lifetime.

Surprised by her achievement, Mrs Evans said that while she was delighted to receive the award, there were seven other very worthy nominees who also deserve high-praise for their efforts.

“I am just one of many women in the ACT and region who go about their business, trying to make a difference in society.”

Mrs Evans thanked her life-long partner John for his unwavering support of her, and the amazing journey they have been on together.

2015 Rising Women of Spirit Award Recipient: Ms Sarah Mamalai

Battling brain cancer for 8 years, Sarah Mamalai has made it into the tiny 5% bracket of long-term survivors. Sarah has gone on to raise over $300,000 for brain cancer research.

Ms Mamalai was lost for words but managed to compose herself to talk about the driving force behind her passion for brain cancer research.

“I was frightened of public speaking before, but once you have faced death it pales in comparison.”

“I have lost a number of very close friends to brain cancer so this award is for those inspirational women also, they are with me in everything I do,” said Ms Mamalai.

For full descriptions on the respective award recipients please view these links:


Her Canberra

Sometimes a story is bigger than one person...that's when the HerCanberra Team puts its collective head together to come up with the goods. Enjoy! More about the Author